State Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, presents House Bill 280 in the chamber on Tuesdays. The bill would allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on public college and university campuses, with exceptions that include dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, and buildings used for athletic events. On-campus child care centers would also be excluded, as would areas on some college campuses where high school students attend class. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Referendum on future of daylight saving time in Georgia passes Senate 

A referendum on whether Georgia should keep changing its clocks for daylight saving time got one step closer to voters’ ballots Monday morning.

Senate Bill 351 passed 53-0. The legislation would add a nonbinding ballot question to the November general election. Voters would be asked if Georgia should keep observing the annual time change, switch to year-round standard time (marked by winding clocks back an hour in late fall) or to switch to year-round daylight saving time (marked by moving clocks ahead an hour in early spring). Changing to permanent daylight saving time would require approval from the U.S. Congress, while changing to standard time would not. 


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Because the referendum is nonbinding, it would not result in any immediate change. If voters indicate they want to make a change, the vote would be used to draft legislation reflecting that. 

State Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, said medical studies about the effects of changing the clocks were striking to him as a doctor. Heath, a co-sponsor on the bill, cited studies from publications including the Journal of Biological Rhythms that showed increases in heart attacks in the two weeks immediately following “springing forward” and “falling back” with the clocks. 

House Bill 709, which also seeks the time change referendum, has not yet made it out of committee. 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that he has created a coronavirus task force and the group held its first meeting Friday.

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